As travel and economic conditions continue to recover from the global pandemic, this holiday season presents opportunities for hotels to capitalize on what has traditionally been the most lucrative time of the year for many properties. Make your list and check it twice to ensure you have the right strategy to share the spirit of your unique establishment.
On the first day of marketing, know what your guests have on their lists when planning their holidays.
We’ve listed 12 tips for holiday marketing from getting into the spirit of giving to holiday-themed food and drink, movie offerings and events, and decking your digital halls from website to email campaigns.
1. Start with a plan
- Clarify your goals for the holiday season. Know your target market and where best to reach them. Do you cater to families or single travelers, millennials or older, do you have a pet policy? Make sure your holiday strategy includes:
- Both a digital marketing and traditional marketing plan
- Creating content on your hotel website and social media that’s focused on the holidays and any holiday offers, holiday events, holiday specials, and popular holiday activities.
- Line up your local channels and business partnerships and promote them consistently through web, email and social media.
2. Deck your website
Your website is your digital front door–make it welcoming, put a wreath on it, make it snow. Focus on beautiful photography, or inviting videos. According to a study in the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, photos are often the most effective content for engaging with potential guests.
Highlight your holiday events, holiday deals or specials or holiday-themed food and beverage.
3. Send out Holiday-themed emails promoting your specials or events
Everyone loves a fantastic holiday special. Consider promoting a holiday-specific package and a special offer page on your website.
It’s fine to repurpose any existing packages that you offer year-round with a holiday twist. Just add peppermint cocoa with the served breakfast or put a chocolate covered Santa on a pillow and refresh the package name to something festive for the holidays.
4. “Decorate” your social media channels
Spread holiday cheer by decorating your social media channels with a holiday theme. Make sure to address all your media including Facebook, Yelp and Trip Advisor. You can keep it simple just consider “wrapping” your social pages with a bow.
5. Welcome your guests with a gift
Whether it’s fresh flowers in the room, a bottle of champagne, or a gift card to a local business or restaurant, it’s the holiday season and your guests will likely appreciate your hotel getting into the spirit of giving.
Even something small such as a personal holiday note for the season is a noticeable and enjoyable gift for hotel guests.
6. Leverage your hotel’s location
More and more hotels are coupling their locations with various local experiences to increase revenue. Collaborate with local businesses, offer tips and recommendations, highlight nearby shopping districts or any relevant holiday events.
Many hotels can see revenue growth with a package approach.
7. Encourage guests to share their experiences
Make your hotel selfie-worthy. Your staff has spent hours (maybe days) putting up holiday decorations on your property, gearing up for festivities. Consider a designated selfie location or selfie booth.
Be sure to include holiday and hotel-themed hashtags for them to tag their photos to promote consistent messaging and drive awareness for your hotel.
Visitors love to share their travel adventures and memories so take advantage and have guests help spread the holiday message for your unique hotel experience.
8. Offer holiday packages
Offer holiday packages for weary travelers such as holiday-themed spa treatments or “home away from home” food and beverage options.
Program holiday-themed movie entertainment options. Consider marketing “holiday staycations” to certain demographics or offer family or pet-friendly discounts.
9. Reach out to previous holiday guests
If you keep thorough records, you should have people on file from previous holiday seasons. And, if you have guests sign in using their email, you can entice them to stay again.
Create a custom email list with these specific guests, then generate an email marketing campaign to acquire their business again.
10. Update any Paid Search to include holiday information
Analyze other paid campaigns from competitors, then begin testing out new holiday-themed campaigns.
11. Update Listings with Holiday Schedules
Get the edge on your competitors with basic listing maintenance. Look at all of your social and business profiles, then put together a comprehensive list of events that will be happening at your hotel.
Analyze competitors’ listings, and see if you are able to one-up them with yours. Also, if your operations happen to be closed at any time during the holiday season, let people know through updated holiday schedules
12. Involve your management and staff
This might seem obvious, but make sure that your management and staff are joyful and in the holiday spirit.
Do your part to ensure that your team members are merry on the job. The holidays might be a good time to outsource anything not integral to a staff position, so management can focus on your guests.
With last year’s holiday season mostly hampered by conditions of the pandemic, travelers are now eager to make meaningful holiday memories with loved ones in 2021. Utilize the above tips for attracting guests to your property, and then “wow” them during their stay to deliver the experiences they are looking to achieve. Cheers!